Fire scene in­ves­ti­gated

Burned home of Syd­ney Mines mur­der sus­pect probed by po­lice, fire mar­shals

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY DAVID JALA

In­ves­ti­ga­tors spent much of Wed­nes­day prob­ing the scene of a sus­pi­cious fire at the home of a Syd­ney Mines mur­der sus­pect.

Mem­bers of the Cape Breton Re­gional Po­lice Ser­vice’s foren­sic team worked along­side lo­cal fire mar­shals as they in­ves­ti­gated the Aug. 4 blaze that ap­peared to cause sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to both the in­te­rior and ex­te­rior of the Ox­ford Av­enue house that was the last known ad­dress of Kimberley Ann O’Dea.

The 35-year-old woman was ar­rested and charged with sec­ond-de­gree mur­der and crim­i­nal neg­li­gence fol­low­ing the death of her former part­ner, Dana Marie Jes­some, 28, who died from in­juries sus­tained on July 14 when she was struck by a ve­hi­cle on Ox­ford Av­enue, a quiet tree-lined street in the heart of Syd­ney Mines.

The on­go­ing pres­ence of in­ves­ti­ga­tors at the house, sur­rounded by yel­low crime scene tape and pro­tected by se­cu­rity guards, is fu­elling spec­u­la­tion the blaze may be con­nected to Jes­some’s death.

But po­lice spokesper­son De­siree Vas­sallo said no fur­ther in­for­ma­tion will be re­leased un­til the in­ves­ti­ga­tors are fin­ished at the scene.

“Once they’ve done that and of­fi­cially de­ter­mine what they think the cause is, whether it is sus­pi­cious of not, then it would be re­ferred to us for in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” said Vas­sallo.

Mean­while, a small shrine, in­clud­ing flow­ers and some rain­bow coloured stones, sits curb­side near the lo­ca­tion where Jes­some — whose birth­day was the day be­fore her death — was struck on Ox­ford Av­enue.

At the time of the in­ci­dent, Jes­some was un­der a court or­der to have no con­tact with O’Dea, who has been in re­mand at the Cape Breton Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre since her ar­rest and is sched­uled to have a bail hear­ing on Fri­day. The hear­ing will be held in Supreme Court as only a jus­tice of that court has the author­ity to pre­side over bail hear­ings for those ac­cused of mur­der of­fenses.

In a court ap­pear­ance ear­lier this month, Crown pros­e­cu­tor Ger­ald MacDonald pre­sented the court with the names of 17 in­di­vid­u­als with whom O’Dea is to have no con­tact.


Fire mar­shals and po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tors probe the scene of a Syd­ney Mines house fire on Wed­nes­day. The blaze at the Ox­ford Av­enue home hap­pened Aug. 4, three weeks af­ter a woman liv­ing at the ad­dress was ar­rested and charged with sec­ond-de­gree mur­der in con­nec­tion with a ve­hi­cle-pedes­trian in­ci­dent on the same street.


A small shrine pay­ing tribute to Dana Jes­some still sits along the curb near the Ox­ford Av­enue lo­ca­tion where the 28-year-old was struck by a ve­hi­cle. Jes­some later died from in­juries sus­tained in the July 14 in­ci­dent.

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